last spring a friend brought over his Oppo BDP-95 to compare to my Playback Designs MPS-5 digital player. he basically had the same question; how close could it come to the 'big boys' in terms of 2-channel music?
we went back and forth with a number of redbook and SACD's for an hour or so. both players were run thru my darTZeel NHB-18NS preamp.
the BDP-95 was competent. but it was not in the league of the MPS-5. the MPS-5 had lower noise floor, but more important the MPS-5 was much smoother and more refined....by significant degrees. and the BPS-5 resolved ambience and did space at another level more similar to analog. whereas i can listen to my MPS-5, then switch to the vinyl and tape, and switch back to the MPS-5.....and i'm still staying happy and not deflated. with the BDP-95, you are not wanting to go back to digital in that session.
i'd say if you want refined digital from redbook discs, the threshold is around $5k. some digital DAC's i've heard maybe more like $3k. it comes down to the quality of the digital transport. the Esoteric transport in the Playback Designs has a 'parts' cost more than the retail of the BDP-95 and they buy them 100 at a time.
to be fair; the Playback Designs MPS-5 is the best digital i have heard.
i would describe the BDP-95 as a decent redbook and SACD player, and many could be perfectly happy living with it. it may better $2k-$3k redbook players, i don't know about that.
btw; i own an Oppo BDP-93 for my separate Home Theatre system; it's a great little unit. and for around $1k for the BDP-95, it's a great buy for a universal player.
Having not heard some of the SOTA digital I wouldn't know but I'd sure bet Mike is dead on based on my impressions. One thing to consider with this unit as I did when I purchased it after hearing it in two different systems is the potential. My bet is that with with some modifications, a tube output stage and an upgraded power supply this unit could be a real contender.
Good news, the unit is extremely resolving of ambient information and excellent at the frequency extremes, actually it is quite remarkable at this price point. Where the unit is wanting in my limited experience is the rather lean nature of instruments, something is missing here so far. I expect an improvement but I'm not too sure it is going to improve enough to my satisfaction. I received mine last week so it is still breaking in. I prefer the OPPO as transport with my Havana doing the processing. What is lost with the Havana is all the great things the OPPO does, resolution and extension. What is gained with the Havana is the image density and tonality. As things stand now I like the latter. What I expect is that I will get tired of going back and forth and will modify this unit to bring it to its full potential. I think at that point it might be best to ask the question.
I was lucky to get one of the first batches of 95's in early March, and in my modest setup It has become a stellar performer!, The 95 will take no less than 500 hours to burnin and sound its best, as it stands now in my system. I listen to much more music than before wiether cd,sacd or hirez files and love its musical presentation. Over the months during its burnin Brass gained byte and snares gained clarity and density, bass became impactful and decayed like a dream. The last thing I noticed about the 95 to date is its purity in the high frequencies ( Audiophile Air)and the player is complete now in my book far exceeding my expectations. To sum it up, its truthful in tonality has weight and extention on all frequencies ( none favored over the other) Cant really call it warm or cool, its a neutral player.
Hope this helps!
I have a Wadia 581i SE and an Oppo 95. I spent most of this weekend doing comparisons between both. I hooked them up to a McIntosh pre C2300 and a BAT VK600 SE, with Analysis Audio Omega speakers, via XLR connections.
ALthough I agree with Mike regarding some roughness coming from the Oppo I have also to recognize that dynamics and bass extent are both better in the Oppo. The Wadia is clearly more refined, with better soundstage and more flesh to show but, however, it sounds analytical and too laid-back in comparison with the "joie de vivre" of the Oppo player. Taking into account that the Wadia costs 10 times more, and that the Oppo is still burning in, I have to recognize that the $1000 player is astonishing, and specially in SACD reproduction. I want now to hear to the new Mcintosh player, the 1100, since it uses the same SOTA dacs of the Oppo,multiplied by 4 and on a high-end platform.
I have a NAD T587 and a Krell Showcase DVD, could not really tell them apart and I paid $250 for the NAD from Spearit Sound when they had them as refurbs. I have not heard a Oppo but I like having the NAD around it's that good.
Digital satisfaction goes an interesting way. Years before it was not possible to listen to units below 20k without getting pain in the ear, now we talk about a 1k unit and even owners from much more expensive units don't escape. Any idea why it is so good?
My guess is the ESS saber dacs and the transformer. One thing to keep in mind Syntax is that this is an EXTREMELY good value but keep in mind the usual cavaets, YMMV. When I compare this unit to my TT set-up (Oracle/SME/Benz LO) it really does hold its own in several areas of performance especially resolving ambient information, really exceptional in this regard. To me this unit was a hedge bet, I wasn't sure if it would be satisfactory in its stock form; I needed a new transport in any case so it could be used for that plus all the other bonuses that are of little interest to me now but may come into play later. I was looking for a relatively cheap CD/SACD unit that has the platform for significant upgrading, I know how modifications can be a great route to go to another level without breaking the bank account along the way. Worse case scenero, I sell it and lose a few hundred bucks, it really is a no brainer, you need to hear this unit for yourself. Notice all the 83SE's for sale, wonder why? :)
I was listening last night to the Arthur Rubinstein SACD remasterings of the Chopin Ballades and Scherzos and was absolutely stunned at how superb this unit performed, capturing the performance to such a remarkable degree with much of the subtle nuance I hear on the vinyl recordings. No it doesn't get the tonality in the same way but it still is amazing to me that digital can be this good at this price point.
When I bought an Oppo BDP-95 two months ago for my main system I had low expectations, not least because I listen to vinyl 95% of the time in this system and my vinyl rig is good and pricey and carefully set up. But I figured, one box for redbook, SACD, and Netflix streaming, why not? While it was a bit edgy right out of the box, the longer it burns in, the better it sounds. Good power cords and cabling really help it. I've settled on a LessLoss Signature PC and Furutech Ref III OCC ICs, which combine to give it more flesh and authority without loss of resolution. Of course, using a PC and IC that each cost more that the Oppo itself is possibly insane, but I don't feel crazy when I listen to it. On the contrary, I'm very happy with the value and sound.
I recently purchased a 95. I have heard that some people suggest using an aftermarket power cord with the 95. Any suggestions for an under $100 cord that anyone has specifically had good results with on the 95?
I can't offer a specific suggestion on the below $100 limit but you could source 5 or 6 feet of power cable and the 2 end terminations and build your own (DIY) for under $100. It doesn't take but 20 minutes to build one and you have little invested to see if maybe just getting a larger gauge cable than the stock one provided gives you something beneficial. You can even go to HD or Lowes and get a 25 foot industrial grade (12 or 10 gauge) extension cord, lop off 6 feet and try it that way. I own the Oppo 95 and use a Shunyata cord (used price was well over $100) but I have used my own builds in the past that cost me less than $100 with good results.
Bought the Shunyata Venom 3 tonight. Looking forward to hearing it when it arrives.
I'm starting to come to some opinions on the 95; I assume it's close to burned in at 3 weeks.
+: Tremendous soundstaging, & very nice tonally on male vocals.
- Not the best detailing, a bit bright (though at a bit higher frequency than most bright players; I'd sat the brightness starts at around 3 k), & very unforgiving of bad mastering.
I have a suspicion that when my finances improve, I'll be looking into the mod companies offerings.
On cd: Not as good as my 3x more expensive 90's system (Esoteric P-10->Illuminati->PS Audio SL3 but surprisingly close.
Video: tremendous picture into my old Sony 480o Wega CRY. Best dvd picture I've ever seen in my home
Performance/price ratio: Pretty amazing
I am aware it may still burn in a bit more; but since I', hearing what other users have also written, I suspect we're getting close. I do also plan to play a bit more with cabling; I've been using a set of 90's Tara Analog standard (the same brand & model of cable I use on my cd front end); but due to a repair I no longer am able to view the directionality of this specific cable.
I read somewhere that even using the HDMI for video (which I'm currently not) negatively impacts the sound. I hope that isn't true, as someday I'll likely buy a 21st century television!
Hi! did you set the FL/FR option( instead of down mix) out put in the Audio setup to take advantage of the Quad dac's (each stereo channel) for 2 channel playback ? You can use this for the dedicated rca stereo outs as well as the xlr's, also new cables would be a wise choice indeed rca/xlr and power cable. To bypass any video output use the pure direct button located near the top of the remote, it should take care of any video being out put during music play back.And just wait till your 95 hits 500+ hrs of playback before considering any mods!
Thank you much for the tips! I'll need to check on the FL/FR; all other settings are as you suggest.
Thanks again for the info on FL/FR VS Downmix. I did have it set for downmix. I re-read the owner's manual, & that portion is very poorly written. I still don't really understand what Oppo is saying there (I did understand your post though), & suspect I perceived that setting as focusing on 5.1 movie audio; with the assumption I needed to enable downmix for stereo playback. While I am also using the player for video, I only have 2 speakers (& don't expect that to change).
I also have a question on the burn-in, as I couldn't get a straight answer on this when I called Oppo.
When we talk about burn in, are we referencing:
1. Hours plugged into the wall
2. Hours in power up mode as opposed to standby
3. Hours playing a signal
Also, is standby sufficient to keep the unit warmed up for peak audio performance, or is leaving it in full powered on mode (as I have been doing) necessary?
Burn-in would require at minimum for the unit to be turned on - this should have some juice running much of the circuits but probably not all. I would imagine that most people would advise that burn-in truly only happens when the unit is playing. If you want to burn-in while "playing" and not spinning discs then you could always download some music onto a USB thumb drive and let it play on repeat - this might get you pointed in the right direction.
As always YMMV and I defer more of a technical explanation of this process to those more learned than I....
That's what I thought. Oppo told me they strongly advise stand by mode when the unit is not in use. My take is the gentleman I've spoken with at Oppo 2x is not an audiophile.
UHh ! Oh! my 95 has been powered up for just about a year now!. There will be a difference via 2 channel playback since you enabled the FL/FR option, no matter the source movies,usb, sacd, redbook ect.. there is an updated maual of the new features on Oppo's site. keep in mind you where only using one of the two Ess Sabre dac's if you where using the multi-analog outs for 2 channel. If you are using rca cables you now need to move them to the dedicated stereo rca outs( There's no need to move them back using this option as it provides the quad stack for 7.1 on the FR/FL speakers ) and now you tap the second dac chip giving you the quad out put per stereo channel, each chip is capable of running eight channels. one chip was for the 7.1 analog outs and the other for the dedicated analog stereo outs. Now that its enabled you should hear a higher fidelity from the player it really is a super sweet feature. As the other poster said usb on repeat is a great way to burn it in ,also Pandora if you are connected to the internet. Post your findings and enjoy this outstanding player!
Thanks to all again for your help. The FL/FR option definitely made a difference. IMO, they really need to re-write that section of the owner's manual; as it's pretty confusing.
It would be nice if they just devoted one page to all the optimal setting for best sounding 2 channel audio. I THINK I'm there now! At least I had the brains to use the dedicated stereo outputs from day 1!
My initial listening with the change seemed to show a moderation of the tone on USB Flac hi-res (a good thing), & a wider & more 3d soundstage on red book cd.
The power cord is supposed to be here tomorrow.
Unfortunately, the local power co shut off electricity today all day for cable repairs. From past experience I need to re-power up the system for at least 3 days before doing any serious listening.
Just a couple quicky comments: I'm at around 5 weeks powered up. Using the Venom power cord, & 90's $200 Tara Analog standard interconnect.
While very sensitive to the mastering quality of what it's playing, on hi res this puppy is STAGGERING. I only better front end I have ever owned was an entry level ($2k in early 90's dollars I think) Well Tempered Record Player with a Blue Point standard; & that's by an OLD memory as I had to sell the TT in 1995.
I haven't done much redbook listening due to time constraints. Did a quicky comparison tonight between my old but beloved Esoteric P-10->Illuminati->PS Audio SL3 & the BDP 95. The comparison was a bit flawed as somehow the PS Audio had been powered down (I don't know for how long). Under those circumstances the Oppo was more refined & had a better soundstage (IMO soundstaging is this puppy's #1 strength).
For the price this puppy is amazing; especially if you look at it as a $500 Blu-ray player & $500 audio player!
At this point I'd say it has 4 main weaknesses, all of which I can live with at this price point:
1. Unforgiving of bad mastering
2. Occasional lock ups & glitches with the eternal computer
3. Apparently parts of the HDCD licensing have changed since the 90's; HDCD red book is AT LEAST the uncorrected 3db quieter than regular cd; it feels like considerably more than 3 db.
4. 1/2 second or so pause between tracks when playing computer files. Usually this is no big deal, but it made side 2 of Abbey Road (as an example) pretty unlistenable!
Oppo tells me this is a known issue that they DON'T plan to fix.
While it took several emails to get them to understand what i was asking, it appears that we were wrong on this,
"When using the dedicated stereo or the XLR outputs, the four DAC channels are stacked in parallel automatically.
When using the Front Left and Right output from the multi-channel analog outputs, then you can't stack the DAC channels. It is a single DAC channel per output.
OPPO Digital, Inc."
I own neither but have this question. Did anyone do BLIND testing? If not, it's all a bunch if hooey IMO.
*remember the little jar of rocks?
Having lived with a stock 95 for about 1 month & a half:
1. Value to price compared to any other unit i've ever heard/seen is astonishing
2. Soundstaging is the best I have ever heard un my system, including a $3k analog front end.
3. Video is excellent.
4. Plays iso's with firmware through 12/12.
1.Internal computer glitches require occasional power cycles. I've only experienced this on audio
2. SLIGHTLY forward midrange. It still is by far the best sounding cd player I've heard under 3k, & the best hi-res player I've heard at any price; but I suspect if one had more $'s to spend there are probably more refined players out there tonally. But likely not at this price, or even close to it. (caveat: I have not heard the Nu-Force 93).
I have gotten so quickly & totally used to the 3d soundstaging that's it's become almost impossible to listen to 44/16 on my high end system!
12/12 SHOULD have said "12/11". Firmware after Dec 2011 disables iso playback.
The sound staging is was what got me as well! after lots of comparison with my previous frontend setup, I found it difficult to go back. It had just the right amount of leading edge without sacrificing width, height and depth. The 95 is sensitive to powercord and Ic changes, the better the cables the better the sound and careful matching is worth exploring. Have you gotten around to readjusting toe-in and rake? Iv'e found repositioning a must after youv'e gauged the sound after burn-in. The final refinement is coming!post back when it does, I'd say you'll compare it to $5000 and up!
The only disadvantage is you cannot plug a 1TB external hardrive into it with music recorded in Apple Lossless.
There may be a rumored surprise around the corner for this! While I'm not sure about the details, I do know it has something to do with Apple!
Jdub39: I'm using a Shunyata venom 3 power cord & Tara Analog standard interconnect ($200 in the mid 90's).
Could you be more specific as to what you mean by "readjusting toe-in and rake"?
In my room, the speakers are pointed straight ahead because they're fairly close to my listening seat & they're large. (I'm using the old rule of 1/3's for speaker placement)
Not sure what rake is, & are you referencing the speakers or the unit itself for vibration control?
"There may be a rumored surprise around the corner for this! While I'm not sure about the details, I do know it has something to do with Apple!"
Darn, when I saw the title of your topic, I was hoping you were referencing iso's & firmware! (-:
I think there's a new flagship from Oppo coming that will include inputs to the DAC to make it an all-in-one media centre. A bit like the Ayre I guess
That would be nice. If the 95 would have had that option I would likely have sold my PS Audio DAC
"I think there's a new flagship from Oppo coming that will include inputs to the DAC to make it an all-in-one media centre. A bit like the Ayre I guess"
From what others have said about the Venom 3 its a great powercord but I wouldn't hesitate to move up Shunyata's line when budget allows of course. If it competes with units $3000 and up, treat it like a $3000 unit! My intial powerord was Ps Audio's AC3(12awg) which list for around $150, I now us a $699 AC10(10awg) and the improvement is not small in terms of refinement and tonality and don't worry about price, the best cord is the best cord period regardless of cost. As for rake, this is leaning the speaker forward, backwards or perfectly leveled to further time aligning of the presentation, this is assuming of course your speakers have out riggers or spikes. As for the rule of 1/3's, I use it myself for speaker placement its fantastic, it can be a pain to adjust them for best sound , as my speakers are 6ft tall (120 lbs) and have 6 spikes per base! I know what you mean by large speakers .On another when budget allows try some new Ic's, this could really take things to the next level.
Any acoustic treatments?
"I think there's a new flagship from Oppo coming that will include inputs to the DAC to make it an all-in-one media centre. A bit like the Ayre I guess"
The Ayre has no digital input!
The 95's usb is a fantastic digital input and is already an all in one media centre and preamp to boot, just add a small 7 or 10" monitor and a external hard drive and your set for high rez files. At this point I'm not really sure where Oppo could improve on the 95 besides minor tweaks which may have nothing to do with sound & video. I hope they prove me wrong! But they struck gold with the 95 " Can you say synergy"
Jdud39, The Oppo 95 will not play Apple Lossless via USB.
The Ayre DX5 has a USB input which is an upgraded part of the QB9 USB DAC.
The 95's usb input is no slouch! and taps right into the Ess sabre dac's from mp3 up to 192/24 yielding playback that's nothing short of stellar. I have to say my prize recording is Ivan Fisher's Mahlers's 2nd Channel Classics sacd, but out of curiosity I down loaded some free hi res samples from a few sites Linn, 2L and Hd Tracks put them on a usb stick and latter that day out of sheer astonishment I purchased Eiji Oue's Rachmaninoff's Symphonic dances on the Reference Recordings label and it's now the second best( if not a tie) thing I've heard recorded period!
I'm very fond of the USB input other than the 1/2 second delay between tracks with pc files which Oppo told me is a known issue they don't plan to fix.
Usually it's no big deal, but try listening to side 2 of Abbey Road as an example of it becoming irritating!
That said, i have 7 1/2 32gb USB drives filled up with hi res files & i love it!
I have an Oppo BDP-83SE which has been modded and have owned the 95 since they were introduced.
The 95 compared to the modded 83 is apples to oranges. They play differently, the 83 with a bit more resolution and the 95 being smoother with a lower noise floor.
I put my 95 up against a Eastern Electric Minimax a few weeks ago and was surprised. The EE simply bettered my Oppo. More air, more resolution more PRAT. This was in someone else's system. There will be a rematch soon in my system where we will add a Tranquility and dream that someone will drop a NAD M51 my way.
Can the USB input on the 95 only access a thumb drive, or can it access an HDD, NAS, and/or server/transporter?
AVS forums has tons of info on that subject!
I have my BDP-95 running a 3TB "My Book" through its USB port. I've also used the eSata port and may try that again. It was a bit flaky for me. I am interested on a possible difference in quality - USB vs eSata.
Note: You cannot use a drive larger than 2TB unless you reformat to 2TB using the Windows MBR file system. You essentially give up space over 2TB. A brain fart on my part.
Desalvo55: Please report back results of Oppo 95 / EE rematch in your system ... interesting results the first time out. Thanks. Very nice system BTW.
I finally got to do some 16/44 redbook cd comparison between the Oppo & my Esoteric P-10/PS Audio SL-3 cd front end. My tentative conclusion: At less than 1/3 of what I paid for the cd components in the 90's the Oppo has significantly better soundstaging on cd, though I have a SLIGHT preference tonally for the old player (on cd only).
I'm going to do more listening before i make a final decision, but I'm starting to lean towards selling the old system though I'm not sure if I'd be able to get enough for it to make it worth my while (i.e. it may be worth more to me than to anyone else); & also the Oppo doesn't have a straight s/pdif digital input which I may still need occasionally for dat &/or cd recorder.
I have one as well and I've heard the esoteric and wadia, the esoteric and wadia are better but for the price the oppo bdp 95 is a steal. However if you want to spend more money, no one here has mentioned msb which is significantly better than wadia and esoteric.
I have a question related to this thread:
I've been using USB keys for Hi-res flac files. My understanding is that per HD Tracks & others, the fact that USB drives have no moving parts tends to reduce jitter.
I am about to be gifted with a 3rd 2 tb USB e-sata hd that I currently have no use for.
1. Would the hard drive's spinning degrade the sound (hi res) as compared to a non moving flash?
2. Does a USB connection require a high quality digital cable like an spdif does? If so, how good? I'm using a $300 Illluminati on my cd front end. Is something this high
quality required for usb?
Just an fyi, having now owned the stock 95 for a little over 7 months, I am very pleased. For the price, it sounds superb on high rez, though it is slightly less refined on redbook than my $3200 (in the 90's) Esoteric P-10-?Illuminati->PS Audio SL3 cd front end.
Also has the best video quality I've ever experienced, & that's through the component out, using the lesser of the 2 video processors.
My only significant complaints/caveats is make SURE you get one with firmware from 12/11 or earlier if you want to play iso's.
It would also be nice if it didn't have the 2 second pause between tracks on .flac playback.
Has anyone here upgraded to the 105D. Comments on CD sound?
Yep, did so this past February after having owned a 95 for almost three years. Wanted the Darbee processing and the improvements (heavier, more solid casework, no fan, better toroidal power supply, etc.) that the 105D offers.
Let me begin by saying that I thought the 95 sounded excellent as is. However, in my opinion, the 105D is head and shoulders better playing shiny discs of all types and USB. Even clearer than the 95, which is no slouch in this regard, with a little more meat on the bones and a deeper sound stage with better delineated images. Have not regretted purchasing it at all.
Would the 105D outperform the PS Audio PWT Transport? to a DAC of course...